Woodhouse Grove School

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Woodhouse Grove School's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Woodhouse Grove School is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles


Highlighting best practice
Headmaster, James Lockwood
Woodhouse Grove School
Woodhouse Grove School is a coeducational independent
school in Apperley Bridge in West Yorkshire.
Headmaster James Lockwood, who began teaching
in 1996, explains that whilst he retains a strong passion for
learning, he has learned a lot about the importance of effectively
marketing Woodhouse Grove School since becoming head teacher.
This marketing strategy has enriched the school as a learning
environment by attracting talented and motivated new students.
Implementing a fresh marketing strategy was one of the first things I sought to
accomplish on arriving at Woodhouse Grove. The result of this has not only been
beneficial to the school by increasing awareness, interest and enrolment, but it
has also been extremely valuable to us as an educational organisation. Key to our
marketing was to ascertain the Woodhouse Grove “brand” and locate our unique
selling point. We interviewed pupils, staff, current and potential parents and
examined what we offered our pupils. We considered our aims on a day-to-day
level and in the long term, and we talked long and hard about what we as a school
stood for. We eventually were able to distil everything down to the question, why
Woodhouse Grove?
Why Woodhouse Grove?
Because of the Grovians that fill the school and who go on to fill the world. These
are not independent school clones, built in an exam factory, unable to think
outside the gilded box. These are individuals who have been offered a truly all-
round education; who are focused, well balanced, well mannered, self-confident
»Headmaster: James Lockwood
»Founded in 1812
»Based in Apperley Bridge,
Leeds, West Yorkshire
»Type of school:
independent day school for
children aged 3-18
»No. of students: 1,050
»A member of HMC and the
Methodist Independent School
Trust (MIST)
»Boarding available for children
aged 11-18
Woodhouse Grove
and unpretentious. They emerge from
school with the personal skills to take
their place in society, as responsible
and decent adults, able to make a
difference in a positive way. They are
the best version of themselves. That is
what it means to be able to say…
I am Grovian.
Why Woodhouse Grove? The answer
fills our halls, our classrooms, our
theatre, our playing fields, our chapel,
our boarding houses. The answer can
be found in hospitals and courtrooms,
offices and on the West End stage,
in fighter plane cockpits and in
laboratories, in the UK and around the
The concept of a holistic education,
based on each individual child, is
rooted in the commitment of our staff
to the highest standards of teaching
and learning for every student
here. With just over 700 pupils in
the senior school, on a 70-acre site,
we are a small enough school that
every member of staff knows every
student. We offer every student the
opportunity to take part in activities
of their choosing and enjoy learning
in small class sizes. Woodhouse Grove
is also large enough to offer a wide-
ranging curriculum, supplemented
by a broad variety of co-curricular
activity. At Woodhouse Grove, we
believe that education should be a
liberating force.
Public examination results may not
determine, ultimately, whether one
is fulfilled or successful in life, yet
they are the benchmark by which an
individual creates future opportunity.
It is my aim that every student be
confident and proud of their academic
achievements and is encouraged and
supported to believe that there is no
ceiling to their academic achievement.
Our commitment to each child’s
learning journey and the recognition
of individual responses to different
teaching methods mean staff know
just how far the most able can be
stretched, and how to support those
needing extra help in the most
effective way. Our results speak for
»A third of all A level grades are A or
»Over the last five years, the average
number of UCAS points realised per
candidate has been the equivalent of
three A grades or better
»95% of our sixth formers go to the
university of their choice, including
We are aware that university is not for
everyone. Unlike other independent
schools, where careers advice focuses
on university choice, at Woodhouse
Grove we have a strong and proven
track record of providing a high level of
informed individual support regarding
the increasingly large number
A shared set of values
Pupils are confident
and articulate
A wide-ranging
should be a
Highlighting best practice
of alternative options available.
Weadvise on vocational courses and
apprenticeship opportunities that
may be better suited to an individual
student’s strengths and requirements.
At the Grove we are opening
doors and offering choices
Recent Woodhouse Grove leavers have
gone on to a project management
apprenticeship with Bombardier
and an aerospace engineering
apprenticeship with BAE Systems. We
want to be more than just a school.
We are a learning community and, as
in any community, our success lies in
the adoption of a shared set of values,
faithful to our Methodist heritage. As
part of our branding and marketing
process, we distilled these down as
Grovian Values
»Inquisitive & Curious
»Enterprising & Resourceful
»Kind & Generous
»Honourable & Respectful
»Committed & Resilient
Understanding that everything we
offer our students, be it academic,
sporting or in the arts, is rooted in
these values enables us to provide an
all-encompassing educational journey
with the future success and happiness
of our students at its heart.
A previous Grove headmaster once
stated that: “Education is about
preparation for good citizenship.”
At Woodhouse Grove, we nurture
qualities that allow students to
leave school able to thrive, both
professionally and personally, in
the fluid, ever-changing and let-go
world of the 21st century. Emotional
intelligence, reaction to failure,
leadership, perseverance, resilience and
the ability to improvise and adapt on
one’s feet are increasingly important.
“Soft skills” – personal attributes that
enable individuals to interact effectively
and harmoniously with other people
– are best inculcated in schools that
are based in communities, such as
The Independent Schools Inspectorate
highlighted this in their most recent
inspection in March 2017.
As an experienced head, I am acutely
aware of the huge financial and
organisational challenges independent
schools face. In many larger schools,
this has led to head teachers operating
more like the chief executive of a large
company, and by necessity they are
forced into the background. This is not
my approach.
The “business” of Woodhouse Grove
will always be rooted in the people
that make up our community, the
building of relationships between staff
and pupils, and the value placed on
the individual.
This is what makes the Grove such a
special place
We are all individuals, yet we are
part of something incredible.
We are Grovian.
A holistic education
Pupils work enthusiastically
and collaboratively with
teachers and with each other,
an indicator of the ethos and
expectations of their vibrant
school community.”
Pupils at all ages are confident
and articulate. They are as
confident in conversation
with adults as they are with
their peers. Expressing views
and opinions is a regular part
of school life.”
Pupils across the school are
open, friendly and highly
confident. They are energetic
and busy, without being
pressurised, because they
know they are supported and
encouraged by staff to ‘have
a go’.”
Independent Schools
Inspectorate Report 2017


This article was sponsored by Woodhouse Grove School. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng.

Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng

This year’s Parliamentary Review reflects on a tumultuous and extraordinary year, globally and nationally. As well as being an MP, I am a keen student of history, and I am conscious that 2020 would mark the end of an era. It will be remembered as the year in which we concluded Brexit negotiations and finally left the European Union. Above all, it will be remembered as the year of Covid-19.

In our fight against the pandemic, I am delighted that our vaccination programme is beginning to turn the tide – and I pay tribute to the British businesses, scientists and all those who have helped us to achieve this. But the virus has dealt enormous damage, and we now have a duty to rebuild our economy.

We must ensure that businesses are protected. We have made more than £350 billion available to that end, with grants, business rates relief and our furlough scheme supporting more than 11 million people and jobs in every corner of the country, maintaining livelihoods while easing the pressure on employers. The next step is to work with business to build back better and greener, putting the net zero carbon challenge at the heart of our recovery. This is a complex undertaking, but one which I hope will be recognised as a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Through the prime minister’s ten point plan for a green industrial revolution, we can level up every region of the UK, supporting 250,000 green jobs while we accelerate our progress towards net zero carbon emissions.

With our commitment to raise R&D spending to 2.4% of GDP and the creation of the Advanced Research & Invention Agency, we are empowering our fantastic researchers to take on groundbreaking research, delivering funding with flexibility and speed. With this approach, innovators will be able to work with our traditional industrial heartlands to explore new technologies, and design and manufacture the products on which the future will be built – ready for export around the globe.

And I believe trade will flourish. We are a leading nation in the fight against climate change. As the host of COP26 this year, we have an incredible opportunity to market our low-carbon products and expertise. Our departure from the EU gives us the chance to be a champion of truly global free trade; we have already signed trade deals with more than 60 countries around the world.

As we turn the page and leave 2020 behind, I am excited about the new chapter which Britain is now writing for itself, and for the opportunities which lie ahead of us.
Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy